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See below for a selection of the latest books from Christian spirituality & religious experience category. Presented with a red border are the Christian spirituality & religious experience books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Christian spirituality & religious experience books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Whilst serving in the Soviet army in 1973, Sergei Ovsiannikov was arrested and imprisoned for acts of disobedience under military command. It was while in prison, like Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky, that he began to ponder deeper issues and on release trained to be a Russian orthodox priest. This extraordinary but short book is about his search for true freedom. The issues he wrestles with are profound and, like any confrontation with truth, it caused him great anguish and pain. As Ovsiannikov wrote: 'It was in my prison cell that I lost fear. I realised that if they sent me to a labour camp with a long sentence, it did not matter because I was free. Of course subsequently I came to realise that freedom is not given, you have to take responsibility for it.' It was during this time that he discovered Christianity and decided that this was the real meaning of his life. Later, after a spell as head of the Russian Orthodox community in London, Ovsiannikov lived for the last twenty years of his life in Amsterdam in charge of the Russian Orthodox community. Drawing heavily on Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Pushkin and translated from the original Russian by celebrated translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky with an introduction by Rowan Williams, this brief spiritual book is a small masterpiece of its kind.
Every spiritual practice, every exercise of consciousness, all meditation -- indeed, every moment of true awareness -- we do with the 'gentle will', even if we are unaware of it initially and cannot fully activate it yet. Through practice, however, the gentle will begins to shine, and we gradually gain the ability to access it in our ordinary, daily activities, allowing our lives to become infinitely richer, meaningful and creative. The gentle will is relaxed, receptive, expressive, creative, soft, light and playful. It is not rigid or cramped. We use the gentle will in artistic activities such as playing a musical instrument, writing a poem, or painting a picture. In today's world, however, life is governed by the principles of usefulness, utility, comfort, and efficiency -- the hard will of egoism. Georg Kuhlewind writes in this book that the only hope he sees of avoiding global destruction is a change in human consciousness; the 'hard will' must become the 'gentle will'. To this end, he provides exercises through which we may transform the hard will into the gentle will.